The Dresden Dolls @ Webster Hall, NYC 4/22/06

Webster Hall, with its theatrically themed decor of velvet paintings and gold marionettes, was an ideal place for the traveling vaudevillian circus that is The Dresden Dolls. The duo’s goth-gone-burlesque get up seemed the perfect accompaniment to the venue’s schmaltzy charm, and “The Dresden Doll Brigade” — kids who come to Dolls shows dressed like it’s Goth Halloween, intent to juggle, mime, and joke for other fans between sets — helped create a communal, campy vibe. Stereogum’s made no secret of our love for Amanda Palmer (and we got word that she was tickled by our post [insert swoon emoticon]), but that night at Webster made us only grow fonder.

The duo just released its sophomore effort Yes, Virginia (Amazon | iTunes), another exploration of the Brechtian punk-cabaret and twisted character sketches of their awesome debut. Though lacking knockout punches like “Girl Anachronism” and “Coin Operated Boy,” it’s a consistent collection, and their set drew on the best of both albums. Throw in covers of Joan Jett, Leonard Cohen, Black Sabbath, and an opening act from a stripping hula hooper and, well, let’s just say we were entertained.

Amanda’s got that time-bomb-ticking bit, tickling the keys’ high register, tilting her chair, launching into menacing smiles, hair whips and cathartic vocal assaults. When smashing the skins, Brian fills the spaces left by Palmer’s complex chord voicings, between dramatic postures and over the top poses. The Dolls bring life to their songs’ scornful, sympathetic lyrics. Temporary art installations, intimate banter, dark cabaret. Just made us wanna Sing.

01. Sex Changes
02. Missed Me
03. Modern Moonlight
04. Shores of California
05. Coin Operated boy
06. Bad Habit
07. Amsterdam (Jacques Brel cover)
08. Cosmic Dancer (T. Rex cover)
09. Delilah (w/ Holly Brewer from HumanWine and Mali Sastri of Jaggery)
10. Dance Me To The End Of Love (Leonard Cohen cover)
11. Necessary Evil
12. First Orgasm
13. Dirty Business
14. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll
15. Half-Jack
16. Girl Anachronnism

17. Me And The Minibar
18. Sing
19. War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)

UPDATE: You asked for MP3, so here ya go. From the San Diego show, not NYC, but rocks the same.

The Dresden Dolls – “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll (Live 4-18-06)” (MP3 Link Expired)